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Egypt's small farmers left in the dust by Sisi's agricultural project

The first round of the 1.5 Million Feddan Project, launched by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to fight unemployment through sustainable agriculture, stirred angry reactions from small farmers who only received 1% of the lands, while the rest was allocated to big companies.
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaks during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (unseen) at the El-Thadiya presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh - RTS1162B
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CAIRO — Egyptian parliamentarian al-Sayyed Higazi presented March 20 an urgent statement to Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, with regard to the implementation of Article 7 in the book of conditions of the “1.5 Million Feddan Project,” announced by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in December 2015.

The 1.5 Million Feddan Project aims at reclaiming desert lands and investing in them by tapping into groundwater and aquifers. The first phase of the project, launched in October 2016, consists of putting 500,000 feddans (519,000 acres) in the cities of Farafra and Toshka in the New Valley governorate and Moghra in the Matrouh governorate up for grabs.

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